NextGen Livestock Forum and Field Trip

James Millner and his father Michael at Rosedale Charolais, pictured with Spring calving stud cows and heifers.

James Millner and his father Michael at Rosedale Charolais, pictured with Spring calving stud cows and heifers.

Livestock producers will have an exciting opportunity to hear and discuss first-hand the future of their industries when the NextGen Livestock Forum and Field Trip are held in Blayney. 

The Agribusiness Today NextGen Livestock Forum on Thursday 28 July has been designed to look out over the horizon to examine the short and long term future for their industries. This will be followed by a livestock Field Trip on Friday 29 July. 

Dr Karl Behrendt, Senior Lecturer in Agribusiness at Charles Sturt University said while we’ve seen cattle prices in particular at exceptional levels in the past two years, many producers are asking if these prices are sustainable. 

"The last forum at Blayney two years ago forecast a strengthening cattle market and our forecasters were right on the money so we look forward to seeing what is expected to happen in the next couple of years" Dr Behrendt said. 

"We are also examining the sheep industry which, while not at record prices, has a high potential in providing these producers with sustainable returns. 

"The forum and Field Days are not only focusing on marketing but a range of other areas as well. We’ll hear from one of the country’s largest meat processors who will discuss meeting market specifications both domestically and internationally and also the chair of the Lot Feeders Association will provide an insight into the feedlot industry." 

The forum on Thursday 28 July will bring together a range of speakers looking at diverse issues such beef market specifications and 3D imaging, what we know and what we still need to know about managing sustainable grazing systems, new technology which may be available, the role of livestock traceability in improving production and profitability as well as making the online environment work for farmers, which includes a farmer’s perspective on dealing with consumer insights and perceptions. 

The Field Trip on Friday 29 July will travel to several properties around Blayney showcasing direct marketing of livestock as well as a 3D imagery demonstration to match animals to market specifications. There will also be a drone demonstration and how it can be used for monitoring livestock and crops, discussion on fodder and dual purpose crops and using cereal crops for supplementary feeding of livestock. 

"It’s also hands on with the second day allowing producers to venture into the paddock to see how some of these innovations are being put into practice on farms," Dr Behrendt said. 

"We’ve tried to look out over the horizon at what the challenges will be and come back with some options, many of which embrace new technologies as agriculture starts to move through the 21st Century."